Prepper Hack: How Harvesting Snow Creates a Long-Term Water Supply


ReadyNutrition Readers, I have written a few articles about water catchment systems for your home (via rainfall), and also how to purify water/set up a disinfecting station.  One of the problems faced by many over the last several years is that a number of states have put into place laws that forbid you to take the very rainwater from off of your roof.  So how to put into place a water catchment system with that kind of nonsense in place?  Well, that’s a tough call.

They didn’t say anything about the water that has already fallen, now, have they?

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Run for the nearest feed store and/or hardware store to secure a few of those 45-55-gallon plastic drums that can be closed off at the top.  The kind that I have found that are really good are a brown barrel with a gasketed lid and an “O” ring that screws the lid in place, almost akin to a gigantic mason jar.  They’re brown, a dark color that will absorb the sun’s light.  You load these guys up with snow and let the warm weather do the rest.  As the snow melts, you periodically add more snow to the barrels.

Here, this is the age of techno-wizardry.  Most of the readers have cell-phones with cameras and other do-dads to record virtually everything that happens in life, no matter how truly insignificant.  Well, here’s a function that actually bears significance.  Take pictures of yourself loading up the barrels with snow.  They don’t have any laws in place that say anything about harvesting snow off of the ground: after all, look how much they spend of your money every winter for snow removal.

How to Assist the Snow to Melt

You can also help the melting process out by positioning these barrels in an area optimal to catching the sun.  You can use ice as well…gathering ice is actually even more productive than the snow in terms of yield.  It will be “shaky” for a little while, as the nighttime temperatures have not come up above freezing in much of the country; however, you’ll be able to get a jumpstart on things and have full containers long before that precious government-controlled rain starts to fall regularly in the spring.

Camouflage Your Water Supply

It is an “outside of the box” idea.  Sure, if you have a well, there is no problem with your water supply…as of yet.  It couldn’t hurt, though, to prep by storing about 150 to 200 gallons, courtesy of Frosty the Snowman if you’re able.  The big thing you want to do with a water point is to camouflage it.  This will protect you from incredible, snooping, malicious neighbors who may want to turn you in.  Remember: the same neighbor that would blow the whistle on you for having a water point against “neighborhood regulations” is the same one who would beg and cry at your door for water when the EMP strikes and takes out those electric water pumps.

Best thing to do is hide or shield them behind something, while yet figuring out how to do it without blocking the sun that enables them to melt.  You may not be able to fill up a whole barrel, but if you even get 4 barrels half full, then you can consolidate them into 2, and keep the remaining 2 in reserve for tough times to come.  You have to think outside of the box, and you have to protect your water supply from the snoopy Scooby’s in the ‘hood.  It’s part of your preps: you need to have a water supply that is not threatened with inability to use it because of loss of power.  You keep that powder dry, melt that snow for a water supply, and let G-men and neighbors just walk on by!  JJ out!

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published March 28th, 2017
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2 Responses to Prepper Hack: How Harvesting Snow Creates a Long-Term Water Supply

  1. PL C says:

    People use ‘water walls’ in their small greenhouses to modify temperatures in there. I’ve seen water-safe barrels support shelves of seedlings, with black plastic on the outer side of the barrels near the wall of the greenhouse. This is common, and a great place to get double duty as well as hide in plain sight.

  2. Oldalaskan says:

    Not all snow is created equal. When I lived back east most of the snow we got was a heavy wet snow and this snow has a higher water content but where I live now the snow we normally get is a dry fine snow that in some places is called “sugar” snow. The water content of this snow is very little.
    I have or had over 70 inches of snow in my front yard this winter. If I were to take a square foot of this snow and melt it my yield would be 5 gallons or LESS. As your snow melts you would have to keep adding more snow in order to get a full drum or bucket of snow. Also, if you try to speed the melting process by heating your container you will have to “prime” the bottom of the container with water or you could melt a hole into your container.
    In short yes there is water in that snow but if you are going to rely on it to survive the winter it would be best to harvest ice from your closest stream or lake.

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